Following Purpose

If you are anything like us, you make a lot of tough choices about how you spend your time. Make sure those choices reflect your priorities and your values, and you really can’t go wrong.

For us, this means advocating for sustainable, healthy living whenever and wherever possible.

At Mighty House Construction, it was a busy summer engaged in several projects, from bath remodels and insurance work to basement finishing, sizable additions, and much more! We’ve been making community appearances such as West Seattle Summer Fest and SolarFest.

Doug also served as a building advisor for the Seattle Design Festival. The Pop-Up! Street Furniture has been making appearances all around Seattle and getting lots of accolades!

This fall is just as exciting. We hosted the “Ask an Expert” booth at Second Use’s Fall Festival in September and are gearing up for our session on integrating salvaged Windows and Doors on October 25.

TODAY, we are holding an open house so that people can experience our crazy amazing (and affordable) radiant ceiling panel heating system. Come by if you can – no need to RSVP.

And last but definitely not least, Laura is co-chair of the fundraising committee for PathFinder Elementary’s Playground Project as well as the co-chair of the NW EcoBuilding Guild’s 2014 Green Building Slam, coming up in November. Busy – it’s how we like it!

Escape Holiday Chaos with a Tranquil Bathroom

Bathrooms are the under-appreciated workhorses of the home. They are there to set the stage/energize for the day and present a calming effect when it is time to sleep.

Updating this space with clean, healthy, and aesthetically pleasing choices can help produce the desired effects and create a sanctuary to feed your soul.

Check out our pictures page to see more pictures of bathroom renovations and additions we’ve completed.

 

 

Great Design is Popping Up All Over!

This year, Mighty House Construction was a build sponsor of a design team for the Seattle Design Festival, kicking off this weekend!

Our team, Pop-Up!, focused on making multi-funcional furniture from reclaimed materials donated by Pioneer Millworks, and the results are fantastic. Our role was to coordinate the building of the furniture – from nuts and bolts (literally) and delivery of materials to teaching and orchestrating the volunteers who actually built it. Our team’s design has been getting lots of attention and we are currently juggling the requests for the furniture to be on display at various locations. The current “tour” includes:

  • Seattle Design Festival Block Party in Occidental Park, downtown Seattle (310 Occidental Avenue South), September 6-7, 10am – 6pm
  • Highlighted at 3rd and Stewart as part of the revitalization of 3rd Avenue and will be on display following the festival block party thru [Park]ing Day, September 19.
  • At a Seattle Parklet Site, (a pilot project with public and private partnership).
  • AIA Honor Awards Ceremony, November 2014

You can see it first at the Seattle Design Festival this weekend, so don’t miss out!

 

 

 

Waste-Free, Happy Plant Watering

As the summer sun beats down on our lawns and gardens, there is a choice to make….to water or not to water? Of course if you are growing veggies and fruits, the decision is clear….but watering grass and other perennials sometimes feels wasteful.

A cistern is a great way to make the choice easier. Cisterns capture rainwater from your roof and save it in an outdoor container, allowing you to tap into that water well into the summer, saving you money on your water bill.

Money isn’t the only thing you will save by using a cistern. Rain runoff is one of the biggest polluters of Puget Sound – rainwater comes from roofs and other surfaces, picks up oil, pesticides and other toxins on the street, and runs straight into the sound via the sewer system.

Happy Pocketbook + Happy Salmon = Happy Living

Capturing the rainwater either in a cistern or through the use of a rain garden filters the water before allowing it to slowly incorporate into the ecosystem – helping manage and filter toxins and beautifying our land. And Seattle’s Rainwise Program is still offering rebates of up to 100% (in qualifying regions) of the cost of installing a rain garden or cistern, depending upon how many square feet of water runoff is controlled by the project. Check it out to see if you qualify!

Mighty House’s Top 5 Tips for Reducing Outdoor Water Consumption in Summer

  1. Reduce the amount of lawn in your yard, let your lawn go dormant, or plant trees to shade your lawn
  2. Utilize native plants in your landscape design and consider installing functional raingardens to filter water runoff from the house and beautify your space
  3. Install and use a cistern
  4. Invest in a watering system that strategically waters plants – reducing the number of times you accidentally leave the sprinkler running for too long and allowing you to water during optimally cool times of day, even if you aren’t at home
  5. Use mulch to hold moisture and reduce the need for watering

Laura’s Tips for Smart Home Maintenance

This year’s West Seattle Summer Fest was a warm one! Although it was a bit too hot, we were grateful that it didn’t rain, as well as for the ability to connect with all our neighbors in West Seattle and beyond. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say “hi!”

While temperatures reached into the low 90’s, Laura braved the GreenLife Stage to share information about “Building with Reclaimed Materials” (co-presented with Second Use Building Materials) and “Smart Home Maintenance.”

If you didn’t get a chance to catch Laura’s presentation on Smart Home Maintenance at the West Seattle Summer Fest, here are her tips. Enjoy

PS – We are always looking for ways to spread the good word about sustainable building and living. Please let us know if you you are involved with a community group that would appreciate hearing some tips on the topic.

Mighty House’s Tips for Smart Home Maintenance

  1. Keep it Local by actively seeking products that are ideally manufactured locally and sold by a locally owned business.
  2. No- or Low-VOC Paints are produced with less harmful chemicals and won’t make you or your family sick. Any manufacturer can color match these days, allowing quality to be your guide.
  3. Flooring such as bamboo, cork, FSC or reclaimed hardwoods, marmoleum (a non-toxic sheet material) and tile are easier to keep clean and don’t allow for build-up of toxins. If you must have carpet, use a super-dense, natural wool carpet.
  4. Reduce Energy Consumption using Energy Star® certified appliances to save you money in the long-term through reduced energy use, and often in the short-term as well through rebates via city, state, and federal programs. Use “smart” powerstrips with master controls. Put a hot water timer on your hot water tanks. Install solar!
  5. Use Water Sense® certified fixtures which reduce water consumption without compromising water pressure. It’s functional, good for the planet, and your pocketbook.
  6. Salvaged Building Materials are sustainable, cost-effective, and unique solutions to home improvement! Your friends and family will ooh and ahh when they learn the story of your salvaged materials.
  7. Batten Down the Hatches with insulation and air sealant. Don’t forget above your can lights and behind exterior wall outlets.
  8. Abide by the Three R’s: Reduce your consumption. Reuse what you can. Recycle the rest.
  9. Educate Yourself and Make Mindful Decisions by using our methodology.•Is it healthy? •Is it eco-friendly? •Is it financially smart? •Is it functional? •Is it unique?
  10. Clean Green – homemade cleaning solutions create a healthy living space and save money.
  • All-purpose Cleaner — 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar, 4 drops of essential oil (optional), a drop of dish soap. It’s a great window cleaner! (You will need to use it 2-3 times before it will cut through the wax build-up from commercial products, after which you can stop using the dish soap).
  • Soft-Scrub — 1 c. baking soda, 1/4 c. liquid castile soap, 2 tsp. vegetable glycerin (as a preservative), 2-4 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, or rosemary (optional). mix and store in a sealed glass jar.
  • Natural Disinfectant Spray — 1 c. distilled water, 1/2 c. vinegar, , 2-4 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, or rosemary.
  • Relevant websites: • lung.org/healthy-air/home/resources/cleaning-supplies.html• ewg.org/research/greener-school-cleaning-supplies